On his 47th birthday, we look at back at some of the many impressive accomplishments of two-time MVP, Canadian legend and Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash. As All-Star season is upon us, we take a look at Nash's standing as one of two Canadian All-Stars in NBA history.
The Canadian All-Star Game history may currently be a short list, but it features two of the most impactful Canadians to step on the floor in the NBA - Steve Nash and Jamaal Magloire.
Nash became the first Canadian to appear in the All-Star Game in 2002 when he was a member of the Dallas Mavericks. It was his first of eight appearances in the game.
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Nash finished in sixth place that year in fan voting at the guard position behind Kobe Bryant, Steve Francis, Gary Payton, Stephon Marbury and his teammate at the time Michael Finley. Despite getting fewer votes than Finley, Mavericks head coach Don Nelson, who coached the West team, would select Nash over Finley.
Heading into the game, Nash was averaging 19.7 points and 8.0 assists while shooting 50 percent from the field.
In the game itself, Nash logged 24 minutes, finishing with eight points and nine assists in the West's 135-120 win over the East. It was by far Nash's best All-Star Game performance statistically. However, Kobe would claim the All-Star Game MVP that year in front of his hometown crowd in Philadelphia.
Nash would play in the game the following year in 2003 but just missed the opportunity to start, beaten out by Kobe and Steve Francis. It was clear that his popularity was growing, and he had an entire nation backing him.
Nash missed the game in 2004 even though he was once again in the top four in guard voting, but with the amount of talented big men at the time, he was the odd man out.
His move back to Phoenix to start the 2004-05 season started a stretch for him where he made the All-Star Game six of the next eight seasons - starting in two of those appearances (2006 and 2010). In 2007, he had to sit out due to injury and was replaced by Utah Jazz centre Mehmet Okur.
In the seven games he played, Nash's All-Star averages were 3.7 points and 6.7 assists on 43 percent shooting from the field.
While Nash appeared in the most games by far, it's Magloire who has the most dominant performance.
Magloire appeared in one All-Star game in 2004 as a member of the New Orleans Hornets, who were in the Eastern Conference at the time. His averages leading up to the game of 12.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks earned him 236,448 votes, which was good enough for fourth among centers only trailing the likes of Ben Wallace, Alonzo Mourning and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
Magloire was selected as a reserve, becoming the second Canadian to appear in the game.
When the lights came on at Staples Centre in LA, Magloire put on a show finishing with a team-high 19 points and eight rebounds as his East squad was edged out by the West 136-132. Magloire was only outscored by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, who ended up with the game MVP.
Magloire's performance propelled the second half of his 2004 season where he averaged 16.4 points, 11.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game helping the Hornets get into the playoffs. They eventually fell in seven games to a young Dwyane Wade, Caron Butler, Lamar Odom and the Miami Heat in the first round.
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